NBAA Convention News

Air Culinaire Moves To Tampa, Rebrands To Reflect Global Presence

 - October 29, 2012, 5:00 PM
Air Culinaire’s new headquarters in Tampa includes a dual-purpose kitchen that can be used to prepare customer meals and for menu research and development.

Business aviation in-flight catering provider Air Chef Holdings has rebranded all of its divisions under one new name, Air Culinaire Worldwide (Booth No. 3024) and moved its headquarters earlier this month from Columbus, Ohio, to Tampa, Fla. Air Chef was founded in Columbus in 2000 by Paul Schweitzer, Air Culinaire’s current president, after he departed from NetJets as its vice president of vendor services. While at NetJets, he observed that the business aviation catering business was “fragmented,” so he formed Air Chef to help consolidate this segment.

“Before our rebrand, we had different names that were known for separate things by our clients,” said Schweitzer. “The purpose of this new name is to make it easier for our clients to identify us as a global catering resource, regardless where they travel. Whether they are served by our owned kitchens or one of our more than 800 catering partners through our network, we want to ensure their total catering experience is simple and enjoyable, from ordering to delivery to dining to invoicing, anywhere they travel.”

The company’s new 14,000-sq-ft facility in Tampa includes an in-flight kitchen that will serve all Tampa-area airports and a test kitchen for creating new menu items and packaging. With the opening of the Tampa kitchen, Air Culinaire now has 14 owned catering kitchens in the U.S. and two more in Europe, serving London and Paris. The new facility also has a training classroom for clients, Air Culinaire staff and culinary teams. In fact, Air Culinaire plans to soon use this classroom to offer classes for business aircraft crews on safe food handling and on-board preparation and presentation. “The new facility in Tampa allows us to fulfill the vision we have had to create a working kitchen with a classroom that our clients can utilize in all aspects of training,” concluded CEO Clifford Smith.